Google has gone and done it again. They have ruffled the feathers of many an SEO expert by changing the way they do things. This time, the change relates to how the search engine displays page titles in search queries. The change makes the actual, real title of a page more important than ever before.
For the record, Google’s attempt to make page titles more readable and accurate isn’t as drastic as it is being made out to be. Since 2012, Google has been going beyond the embedded title tag to create its own page titles for search queries. This most recent change just takes what they have already been doing one step further.
If you are an SEO provider or content creator, rest assured this change means you have to pay more attention to the actual titles you give your pages. You have to pay more attention to everything in the <H1> and <H2> tags too. If you are a website owner, make sure whoever provides your SEO services is up to speed on this recent change.
- The Change in a Nutshell
Prior to 2012, Google relied almost exclusively on the title tag to construct the titles of the pages showing up in SERPs. They abandoned the practice when it became apparent that SEO providers were content to stuff title tags with keywords. So, they modified their algorithm to combine title tag information with text taken from the actual page in question.
Over time, the Google algorithm began constructing titles based on an analysis of title tag, page text, and the actual keywords used in the search query. The search query component made it possible for the same page to show up in SERPs with different titles, simply because search terms were different.
That has all gone. Google’s new title standards no longer consider search query. Instead, their algorithm will look at the title tag, anything under the <H1> and <H2> tags, and general text within the piece.
- What It Means for SEO
As for what this all means to SEO practices, it means actual titles are now more important than they previously were. If a page’s actual title (i.e., what the user sees of the top of page) is fairly descriptive of the page, it will be given greater weight in constructing Google’s title. Otherwise, their algorithm will defer to other <H1> and <H2> tags, as well as general text.
The experts at Webtek digital marketing, a Salt Lake City, Utah SEO services provider, suggests that constructing top-notch titles should improve organic traffic under the new system. The opposite is also true. Titles that are inaccurate or descriptive of page topic are not going to help drive users to a site.
What’s more, if Google’s algorithm determines a page’s actual title doesn’t fit the bill and has to default to other text on the page, the results may not be what website owner or SEO provider really want. So it is in the SEO provider’s best interests to make sure that titles are spot on.
- Benefits to Local Search
Though no one can really say for sure at this point, the change could offer benefits to local search. For example, the right title on a Webtek blog post may produce a better title on Google SERPs when customers search for Utah SEO services. Including ‘Utah’ in the title gives Google’s algorithm one more item of specificity to consider.
Google changing the way it constructs titles in search engine results is important. In the long run, it is going to improve SERPs accuracy, readability, and productivity.